I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process by Francesca Lia Block, Grant Faulkner
Published by Seal Press on May 1st 2018
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For devotees of Bird by Bird and The Artist's Way, a memoir-driven guide to healing through the craft of writing
Francesca Lia Block is the bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the award-winning Weetzie Bat series. Her writing has been called "transcendent" by The New York Times, and her books have been included in "best of" lists compiled by Time magazine and NPR.
In this long-anticipated guide to the craft of writing, Block offers an intimate glimpse of an artist at work and a detailed guide to help readers channel their own experiences and creative energy. Sharing visceral insights and powerful exercises, she gently guides us down the write-to-heal path, revealing at each turn the intrinsic value of channeling our experiences onto the page.
Named for the painting by Frida Kahlo, who famously transformed her own personal suffering into art, The Thorn Necklace offers lessons on life, love, and the creative process.
Slinkster cool playlist!
When this came to me in the mail, I was so deliriously happy because this book could not have come at a better time! I fell completely in love with this book in every way because this is the exact time in my life where I am in need of this book. I just turned 34 this year and this is the year that I feel like I need to act now on my writing or I never will. Now I know that being 34-years-old is not a death sentence and I could act on my writing whenever I want to act on it but I have been putting so many excuses and limitations to my writing. This book helps me realize that the time is NOW. And I cannot honestly ask for a better person to inspire me to continue my writing and be consistent with it than none other than my favorite author ever!
Since I was sixteen-years-old FLB has been like a muse, an inspiration, and her books have been like the security blanket that has gotten me through difficult times in high school, college, and the dreaded early 20’s where I was trying to figure out who I was. After reading The Thorn Necklace not only did I recognize how much I needed to make my writing a priority but how I missed FLB so FREAKING much! I have to admit, that I haven’t been reading much of FLB in my 30’s and I realized how much I need her words for the comfort and magic that it used to always bring to my life.
“I AM A WRITER. They’re just four simple words. Yet many of us have difficulty saying them, no matter where we are in our creative journeys.”
FLB’s book is based on 12 questions to help you figure out the trajectory of your story. The questions are centered on all aspects of the character, the setting, the style, the protagonists, the antagonists, and the theme. These exercises make an amazing outline to get a story going and it really encompasses every detail to bring your story to life.
Not only is this book a writing guide, it’s also a memoir. She intertwines her life story with writing exercises. The author writes about her life in such a deeply personal and heartbreakingly honest way that all I wanted to do the entire time was give her a hug! Also, I was so pleasantly surprised to see that so many aspects of her most iconic books such as Weetzie Bat are inspired by her real life and knowing this made me so giddy!
The Thorn Necklace actually feels like you are taking a writing class with FLB and I have taken a few online writing classes with FLB and even got the opportunity to meet her for a writing workshop back in February of 2009! I have been so ridiculously lucky to meet my ultimate muse and I am so happy that I have this book in my life because now I feel like I am taking FLB with me wherever I go.
Which Dawson Character Would Read This Book…
Jen Lindley would totally read this book! She totally has that Weetzie Spirit inside her that is full of spunkiness, sweet sadness, and spontaneity! I feel like Ms. Lindley’s tortured soul would also completely relate to the pain that FLB went through with all the men in her life since Jen has quite a past.
Catfairy’s Pop Cultural References
DUDE! I can’t believe that she got to hang out with Joseph Gordon Levitt and that she borrowed his actual jacket! Swooooon! Besides my husband, this guy is my ultimate Secret Agent Lover Man!
“With no formal training, I’d pieced my debut book together from snippets of fairy tales, Greek myths, rock and punk lyrics, modernist poetry and the Latin American magical realism I’d read as if I were eating guava pastries from the Tropicana Bakery in Sunset Boulevard in LA.”
FLB’s writing style is the reason why she is my favorite author! One of the things that I absolutely adore about FLB is her use of setting and how the setting is like another character in the book. When she writes about the magical like Shangri La based off of LA, it’s like you just want to be a part of that world because everything around Weetzie just seems to pop out like a Romero Britto painting! FLB’s writing is poetic and lush. Her writing has the ability to believe in yourself again and to accept your eccentricities. After I read a book by FLB I always appreciate the beauty around me and notice it’s magical qualities. FLB’s writing is like an Amelie movie only instead of Paris it’s set in a surreal Los Angeles filled with starlets, glittering palm trees, pink Cadillacs, pink Harlequin sunglasses, and kisses that taste like apple pie a la mode…
(BTW…when is the Weetzie Bat movie coming out?! Fox Searchlight you need to get with it! We need a Weetzie Bat revolution now more than ever!)
Catfairy’s Final Thoughts
I find it insane that this is a writer that I have idolized and looked up to for eighteen years! I always idolized her life and felt that she was leading the perfect life. It brings me so much comfort to know that the pain that she wrote about through her writing was what got me through high school, college, and adulthood.
Now come to think of it this book has taught me that everyone is struggling with some kind of pain and that it is our responsibility to take that pain and try to make it into something beautiful. We need to find ways of expressing that pain to get ourselves out of auto-pilot mode! The Thorn Necklace has taught me that the pain that we go through can be turned into something magical and can possibly save someone’s life…like mine. <3